In 1925, in a Lao family

2 American adventurers film the Lao/Thai countryside. The interpreters are:
  • 500 jungle hunters who never heard about movie,
  • 400 elephants, tigers, panthers, pythons, bears, and others of the wild,
  • THE Jungle...

The Movie

Cooper, Schoedsack & CHANG

The first collaboration of the 2 filmmakers was back to 1922, and their documentary in Africa where they interwieved Haile Selassie, the Rastafari. Then decided to shoot a film in a situation where men have to fight the hostile environnement. They followed the Bakthiari tribe in Northern Iran for a 45 days migration during the early spring of 50.000 people and half a million animals, through a chain of mountains cevered with snow, an amazing documentary that they couldn't finish to shoot because of a lack of film.

After having premiered their film, "Grass" on screen in March 1925, and the great (financial and critics) success it has at this time, the 2 directing friends - Cooper & Schoedsack - could produce a "natural drama" in Northern-East part of Thailand, in the Nan Province, close to the Lao border; a kind of documentary based on anthropological natural resources and ethnographic film, well integrated in a narrative storytelling with a dramatic spectacle.

This area is historically inhabited with a lot of wild elephants. By visualizing the film, you may easily understand how numerous were the herds (in 1900, there were 100.000 elephants in Thailand when Laos was called "The Land of a Million Elephants").

Filmed meticulously and with great technique over a 1 year in northern Thailand, with Kru, the Lao Jungleman, and its family, his wife Chantui, and the 2 children Nah and Ladah. The captures fascinating scenes of everyday life in a long past time, where Man had to fight to survive in a hostile environment and where nature could be friend and foe. filmed without any rigging!

The film received good critics when it first was projected in New-York (see this review written in 1927 in the New York Times).

Engaged in the large-screen projection industry, they went on then wrong standard: Magnascope never seduced, when CinemaScope became couple of years after the industry standard for large-screen projection.

Chang was nominated for the Academy Award for Unique and Artistic Production at the first Academy Awards in 1929, the only year when that award was presented. The film disappeared for decades and was considered as lost, before 1988 when a copie of the movie was finally found.

After few collaborations, early 30's, they launched a mega production that became an enormous success: KING KONG.

Technics (Magnascope)

  • Runtime: 1 hr 9 min (69 min)
  • Sound Mix: Silent
  • Color: Black and White (tinted and toned)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33 : 1
  • Film Length: 1,992.17 m (8 reels)
  • Negative Format: 35 mm
  • Cinematographic Process: Magnascope (elephant charge) & Spherical in Panchromatic
  • Printed Film Format: 35 mm



Originally, CHANG is a black and white silent movie, accompagnied with the orchestra playing the original composition of the famous and talented holywood film composer Hugo Riesenfeld. Unfortunaltely, the orginal music is definitely lost and a new score needed to be added to CHANG.

For the 1995's reedition, CHANG was accompagnied with the Bruce Gaston Thai music ensemble.

We present the ATOC's score, recorded in 2014.
ATOC (Association du Théâtre d'Ombres de Champasak) is a Lao association composed by Lao artisits. The troupe trained for almost 2 years to double the film on a live performance.

The 14 artists of ATOC troupe perform 4 times a week (2 times playing the Shadow Puppet theater, 2 times doubling the film Chang).


The film is retransmitted open-air on wide screen and accompanied with a soundtrack of a live performance of the troupe of Champasak, saved in 2014, until the local troupe of Luang Prabang is fully trained.

As the jungle is filled with ferocious animals and various dangers, certain scenes in the film may shock and surprise by its truthful ruthless brutality. But we have to replace the film in its context, 90 years ago, when people living in the jungle needed to protect themwselves against the nature, when we now must protect the nature against ourselves.

See details of the projection here.

Thank you for your coming and your support.